Important updates to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

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Dear customer,

We’re writing to let you know about upcoming changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and what this means for you or your clients.   

From 1‌‌ October, HMRC will pay 60% of usual wages up to a cap of £1,875 per month for the hours furloughed employees do not work.  

What you or your clients need to do from 1‌‌ October

Continue to pay furloughed employees at least 80% of their usual wages for the hours they do not work, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. Employers will need to fund the difference between this and the CJRS grant themselves.

The caps are proportional to the hours not worked. For example, if an employee is furloughed for half their usual hours in October, employers are entitled to claim 60% of their usual wages for the hours they do not work, up to £937.50 (half of £1,875 cap). Employers must still pay their employees at least 80% of their usual wages for the hours they don’t work, so for someone only working half their usual hours they’d need to pay them up to £1,250 (half of £2,500 cap), funding the remaining portion themselves. For help with calculations, search 'Calculate how much you can claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme' on GOV‌.UK.

You or your clients will also continue to pay furloughed employees’ National Insurance and pension contributions from your own funds. 

Make sure your data is right

It’s important that you or your clients provide all the data we need to process your claims. Payment of employers’ grants may be at risk or delayed if they submit a claim that is incomplete or incorrect and we want to help them get this right. We’ll get in touch if we see any employee data missing from previous claims.

Claiming for 100 or more employees – use our new template

The easiest way for your or your clients to provide us with the data we need is to use our updated template – to find it, search 'download a template if you're claiming for 100 or more employees through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme' on GOV‌.UK. 

To help prevent mistakes, the XLS and XLMS versions of the template now highlight any missing information needed to make a claim before you submit it. Where information is missing, fields will be red and once the missing information is filled in, the data fields will turn green. Employers can also now flag if an employee has recently returned from statutory leave, to ensure claims with any new employees are processed correctly.

Claimed too much in error?

It’s important that you or your clients continue to check each claim is accurate before submitting it, and we would also recommend checking previous claims to avoid any penalties for claiming too much.

If you or your client have claimed too much CJRS grant and have not repaid it, you must notify us and repay the money by the latest of whichever date applies below:

  • 90 days from receiving the CJRS money you or your client are not entitled to
  • 90 days from the point circumstances changed so that you or your client were no longer entitled to keep the CJRS grant
  • 20‌‌ October 2020, if on or before 22 July you or your client received CJRS money you’re not entitled to, or if circumstances changed. 

If you or your client do not do this, you may have to pay interest and a penalty as well as repaying the excess CJRS grant. For more information on interest, search 'Interest rates for late and early payments' on GOV‌.UK.

How to let us know if you have claimed too much

You or your client can let us know as part of your next online claim without needing to call us – the system will prompt you to add details if you have received too much. If you or your client have claimed too much and do not plan to submit further claims, you can let us know and find out how to make a repayment online. Go to 'Pay Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grants back' on GOV‌.UK.

We are supporting our customers while tackling serious fraud and criminal attacks. We understand mistakes happen, particularly in these challenging times, and will not seek out innocent errors and small mistakes for compliance action.

Further support

Guidance and live webinars offering you more support on changes to the scheme and how they impact you or your clients are available to book online – go to GOV‌.UK and search 'help and support if your business is affected by coronavirus'. 

Our phone lines and webchat are still very busy, so the quickest way to find the support you may need is on GOV‌.UK. This will leave our phone lines and webchat service open for those who need them most.  

Protect yourself from scams   

Stay vigilant about scams, which may mimic government messages as a way of appearing authentic and unthreatening. Search 'scams' on GOV‌.UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact. You can also forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to and texts to 60599.   

I hope this information helps you and your business. We’ll continue to keep you updated on scheme developments over the coming weeks.   

Yours faithfully


Jim Harra

Chief Executive and Permanent Secretary – HMRC

To find out all of the ways you can contact us and our opening times go to

GOV.UK – contact HMRC